Andio exipment titillation? Not here please....
I completely agree. What I do not understand is why we collectively couldn't give a down-to-earth, pragmatic answer to a simple question. If someone has money to burn I very much doubt that they'd be interested in Harbeth products which as stated above are no-frills, solid engineering presented in a functional way. So why would such a consumer be attracted to exotic CD players, possibly spending more - far more - on a CD player than the speakers? They obviously wouldn't would they.
Originally Posted by thurston
So can I appeal for some sanity please so that the question can be answered in a meaningful way. From time to time I use a CD/MiniDisc rack-size player (branded Grundig) that cost about $100 in the high-street electrical supermarket. In fact, I used it extensively during the C7ES3 development. It is *good enough* for occasional listening. OK, the track selection is a little slow, the remote buttons a little wobbly, the drawer a little shaky but who gives a damn? There are far more pressing things to worry about in life than burning money needlessly on fancy electronics, which if they fail - and they probably will - will bankrupt you with repair costs and may never perform properly from day 1.
So, no more exotic (erotic?) fantasy suggestions allowed here. Just answer the question setting a real-world budget of, say, $1000 please.
Oh and as I've said before, forget about nit-picking over sound quality. Assume there isn't any reliable difference. Can we hear please about the brand's after-care when the player fails/skips/jumps/jams - how they handled the problem, was it solved, what were they like to deal with and the cost? In other words the real story. And if that's not a happy tale, then you may as well by a Sony player for $300, anticipate a five year life and if it fails cheerfully buy another one.
It's all said so well in an article in the excellent (and only GBP 0.20) i newspaper, yesterday - attached.
P.S. It may not be obvious to you but the size of the company and it's financial standing will have a huge influence upon product reliability and its ability (let alone attitude) to providing first-class after care. Digital electronics are complex, and electro-mechanical digital electronics (a CD player) more so. I give you a recent analogy. At Harbeth we use battery-powered electric hand-screwdrivers to screw together the cabinets. You can imagine that in a day there are thousands of screws to be driven into wood. Over they years we have tried various brands of electric screwdriver, some German, some USA brands, Japanese and DIY store own brands which you often see on special offer for around $30 'with free drills and spare battery'.
We have concluded (reluctantly) that there is a relationship between long-term durability and corporate size, and for the last couple of years we have standardised on Panasonic (Japanese made) which are upper-mid price. What we are buying (almost for free) are the technical resources of the world's largest consumer manufacturing company. They have enough income to reinvest in laboratories where doubtless they have hundreds or thousands of engineers with world-class design, test and reliability resources to test, test and test again their designs before they are released to market. And the result is an extremely reliable, long-lasting product at a very fair price indeed. But if you are smaller brand/company is it likely that you will have these technical resources to really thrash-out design weaknesses before launch?
My point is that you should assume that fancy electronics will certainly cause problems sooner or later. You should protect yourself in advance of purchase by fully assessing what your total cost of ownership will be. One of the reasons we respect the QUAD brand here in the UK is because their after-care operation is affordable (even cheap) and they can fix anything made in the last 50 years or so because they used standard catalogue parts not exotic long-deleted specials. How many unique single-sourced parts are there in some of these boutique electronics I wonder?
Buy with your brain, not your heart.
Alan A. Shaw
Harbeth Audio UK